There's no doubt that moving creates incredible stress. And let's just be frank, the longer we've been in our homes, the tougher it becomes to make a move, not just physically, but emotionally as well. That's probably why I choose to move so frequently; I don't want to be overly attached to my home, OR to the things in it. (People, yes. Possessions, no.)
I should preface this story by explaining that I'm the girl who didn't keep her wedding dress, who didn't save my children's soccer trophies, and who, when these same boys were heading off to college, handed them a single, solitary storage box and said, "If it's important to you, keep it. If not, I'm giving it to Good Will!" But that's just me . . . granted, you're likely to feel differently and no doubt, you are probably far more sentimental . . . and a much kinder person.
On Tuesday morning I took BART over to San Francisco with a couple of girlfriends for the Edible Excursion's Ferry Building Tour. This isn't my first food tour with this smart, dynamic company, nor will it be my last. The opportunity to walk, talk and eat, while learning a little bit about SF history (and meeting others from other countries) is a combination that makes for a near-perfect outing. What's more, few companies do it better than Edible Excursions. (Thank you, Tori, you were a wealth of knowledge!)
Our jaunt through the Ferry Building - once San Francisco's tallest landmark - provided ample opportunities for sampling the delectable fares that put each vendor on the map (quite literally), and as we progressed from storefront to storefront, I couldn't help but think about the characteristics each of these highly successful businesses share:
1) They are local.
2) They strive for excellence.
3) They focus on what they know.
During the holidays, I met my friend at Timeless Coffee on Piedmont Avenue to discuss whether or not he should buy a property in the Bay Area.
"I've got $70,000 in savings, but I don't want to spend it all in case I need it for an emergency," he said. "I know that's not a lot. Can I buy a house?"
"That depends," I said. "Where do you want to live?"
In other words, how far down highway 80 will you go? How far out-of-state?
This hopeful Buyer is not alone. Two days later his inquiry was followed up by a random phone call from a young man with a thick southern accent: "My fiancee and I qualify for a $125,000 loan and are having trouble finding a Realtor. Can you help us?" (No, I can't.)
It's a new day, a new month and a new year and from where I sit, it's going to be an incredibly active 2020. Even though I managed to take a few days off to be with family during the holidays (I hope you did as well.) Jill, Sarah, and I also met with several Sellers to sign listing agreements and set marketing calendars for the weeks and months ahead.
As an aside, Agents usually need 3-4 weeks to bring a house to market, so NOW is not too soon to reach out if you are thinking of selling this Spring, or even further down the road. In fact, savvy Sellers contacted us last Fall, providing a running start, which in turn, allowed them additional time to begin the process of purging and packing (no easy feat). In short, the sooner, the better for everyone involved.
Even so, if this wasn't you, and you ARE interested in selling your home this calendar year, we're here to help you manage the process and achieve your goal.
We're counting down to December 25, and as the eight days of Chanukah happily coincide with Christmas this year, my family will likely pair fried latkes with prime rib in celebration. (It may not be kosher, but it's tasty.)
Because I didn't join my husband's tribe until my mid-thirties (a decade after our sons had been born) our holidays are a blend of Cliff's Chanukah traditions and my secular ones. (Santa Claus loomed large in my parent's household.) These blended traditions include good food, holiday lights, and calorie-laden sweets; the kind you only make and look forward to once a year. In a household filled with both menorahs and stockings (hung by the chimney with care), the holidays, for us, have primarily evolved into an opportunity to spend time together, irrespective of what else is going on.
It’s the holiday season so visions of sugar plum fairies are dancing across the TV announcing the Nutcracker as one of the season’s brightest traditions. With all due respect, that depends on your traditions . . . .
Years ago I took my son, Case, to see the Nutcracker Ballet in San Francisco. As I'd had a short-lived career onstage, I was certain that when I became a mother, my kids were going to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and love theater! So when complimentary tickets for front-row seats fell into my lap for the highly-respected SF Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker, I eagerly jumped at the chance to take Case to his first live show; one that didn't involve a creepy 6-foot-tall, purple dinosaur or a 3-ring circus.
Last week, before retiring to the bedroom to binge watch The Crown, Netflix required me to reset my password prior to signing in. (I hate the world of passwords.) No sooner had I typed in the new code, then my cell phone rang. Shock and dismay . . . it was my son, Tristan, on the line.
"Hey Ma, Netflix just locked me out. Did you change the password by any chance?
(Wow. Hello to you too.)
I should preface this story by saying that a live chat (remote or otherwise) with either of my sons is rare. Unlike my twin sister's daughters, who phone their mother almost daily to regale her with stories of their colorful lives (or to talk about shoes???), my boys call so infrequently, I begin to wonder if they ARE still alive. (They are, they're just not phoning to let me know.) And while I hate to admit it, about half the time they're not responding to my text messages either. Buehler? Buehler? Buehler?
You sell real estate?” Alina quietly asked me before the 6:30 am morning hike at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. “I know you probably want to get away from work, but my husband and I just bought a house in San Diego and we’re scared to death,” she said. “We’d lost several others prior to this one and then had to bid more than we wanted . . .”
Sounds about right.
Alina, a stunning, young, athletic woman who was acting as the resort's docent last week, has a fast-paced career away from the ranch the other 51 weeks of the year, travels extensively to exotic locals with her globe-trotting, BIG-wave surfing husband, and is easily conversant on many topics - in both Spanish and English - but it was the thought of a new home and the work that lies ahead that was keeping her up at night. Now that they were in contract, she and her husband weren't exactly seeing eye-to-eye on their plans for their new home. Where excitement had ruled the day, now fear and second-guessing stepped in to offer an unsolicited opinion.
Sounds about right.
I don't know about you, but the older I get, the harder it becomes to adjust to Daylight Savings Time, which means that here I am, writing this blog at 4:00 am in the morning. I'm an early bird by nature, but even I have to admit this isn't good. (I'm efficient at 6:00; at 4:00 in the morning, I'm of little use.) I'd like to get back sleep so that I can be at my best when morning dawns, but as the saying goes, "time waits for no man" (or woman).
When it comes to the contracts Buyers and Sellers enter into, time is a recurring theme AND one worth paying close attention to. Between an accepted offer and the delivery of the house keys, there are MANY actions that must take place in a fairly short amount of time, beginning with the earnest-money deposit which needs to be deposited into escrow within three days of the contract's ratification.
Tuesday was Cliff's birthday. (Happy birthday, honey.) Luckily, Cliff is a man of simple needs, desiring little more than chocolate cake with raspberry filling to celebrate. (He's already got everything he wants, and more importantly, he knows it.) Having met more than 30 years ago, I've been making chocolate cake for my husband ever since . . . .
The reason I bring this up (aside from the fact that Cliff cringes every time I mention him in The Perspective), is that Cliff wasn't my first love, nor was I his. We were 35 and 30 respectfully, when we married and as might be expected, we'd both had previous relationships before meeting one another. My point being that sometimes you've got to kiss a few (or many?!?) frogs before you meet your Prince Charming.
This is just as true for Home Buyers who often enter the marketplace with set expectations, only to find themselves drawn to something entirely different along the way. For some Buyers, it's not until they walk into the completely unexpected and find themselves "hooked" that the narrative begins to shift.
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.